Brexit High Court ruling will not change Article 50 timetable, Downing Street says

The High Court ruled that Article 50 could not be triggered without a parliamentary vote

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Thursday 03 November 2016 12:41 GMT
Theresa May has refused to give Parliament a vote on triggering Article 50
Theresa May has refused to give Parliament a vote on triggering Article 50 (Getty)

The High Court ruling that it is in unlawful to trigger Article 50 without a parliamentary vote will not change the timetable for Brexit, Downing Street has said.

The Goverment has said it will contest the ruling in the Supreme Court, with the case set to be heard in December.

Theresa May has repeatedly refused to give Parliament a vote on whether or not to invoke the EU treaty clause, which formally begins the process of leaving the bloc.

High court rules Brexit needs Parliamentary approval

"Our plans remain to invoke Article 50 by the end of March," the PM's spokesperson told journalists.

"We believe the legal timetable should allow for that."

The Government has declined to give a statement to the House of Commons on the ruling, instead saying it will update MPs next week.

During the legal review Government lawyers said it was likely that Parliament would in any case be given a vote on any final Brexit deal.

There is believed to be a majority for Remain in the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

In a devastating judgment for the Government, the Lord Chief Justice said its arguments had been contrary to “fundamental constitutional principles of the sovereignty of Parliament”.

The ruling said: “The court does not accept the argument put forward by the government. There is nothing in the text of the 1972 Act [to join the EU] to support it."

Leave.EU chief Arron Banks said unelected judges have "decared war on democracy" and accused the Remain campaign of using a "dirty trick".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Government should "brings its negotiating terms to Parliament without delay" but that it respected the will of the British people, while the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the decision gave “the chance to say no to an irresponsible hard Brexit that risks our economy and our jobs”.

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